CPC warns electricity distributors against arbitrary charges
• NCC to protect consumers
The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has warned electricity distribution companies against arbitrary charges on consumers.
The CPC Director-General, Babatunde Irukera, gave the warning yesterday in Abuja at a meeting with the management of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company.
The company’s Managing Director, Ernest Mupwaya, led the management to the meeting.
According to Irukera, the arbitrary billing and group disconnection without consideration for the consumers paying the bills constitute gross abuse of consumer rights.
While acknowledging the challenges facing the sector, he added that it was not an excuse to continue to treat consumers poorly.
According to him, there is no excuse for the way consumers are treated, adding that the key complaints that are being received are arbitrary, unsupported and unreasonable billing.
He added that consumers are not being treated with dignity, noting that the complaint resolution process is either lacking or unclear.
The DG lamented that consumers’ complaints have not been primarily about supply, but billing for non-existent electricity supply.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) has disclosed plans to empower consumers with information to protect them and add value for their money.
The Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau of the commission, Abdullahi Maikano, disclosed this yesterday in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital.
It was at the 36th edition of consumer town hall meeting identified as adequately responding to enquiries.
He said one of its new initiatives could be achieved “Via NCC call centre on a Toll Free Number-622.”
Others mapped out initiatives, he, said, include the dissemination of consumer web portal, organising outreach programmes, interaction via social media like Twitter handle and Facebook.
It also includes participating in radio programmes that educate consumers on their rights and privileges.
He cited the Constitution of Nigeria, which he said: “Expressly provides for a number of rights, which are recognised as inalienable to every citizen of the country.”
He stressed that the NCC is also vested with the mandate “of regulating the telecommunication industry and the protection of the consumers.”